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When used on walls, can shotcrete be of equivalent strength as poured concrete?


Basically, shotcrete is a method of placing concrete that does not require forms. As a matter of fact, shotcrete requires the concrete mix to be proper every time. With formed concrete walls, the ready mixed concrete going in can be substandard and still appear to be okay. Shotcrete also provides a more dense concrete less susceptible to water penetration. The most glaring difference will be the quality of the materials used. Most poured walls are designed for a compressive strength of 2500 to 3000 psi. Typically they are placed with a water/cementitious material ratio of 0.60 and higher. Curing is almost unknown in the poured wall sector. Protection only occurs in the coldest weather. By the very nature of the process, shotcrete will have a much lower w/cm ratio. This will produce a wall with higher compressive strength and have the attributes of lower w/cm ratio concrete, i.e. reduced permeability, less shrinkage, increased durability. With proper curing and protection, the shotcrete mixture will produce significantly better long-term performance. The shotcrete process should allow for easier addition of insulation to the walls as well. This is especially important if the basement is to be used for more than just storage.

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